Hypertension is often called the silent killer and in New York City alone there are more than 2.5 million residents who report having high blood pressure. That’s why the American Heart Association in NYC, in collaboration with local and national experts on the management of high blood pressure and community leaders addressing uncontrolled blood pressure, gathered for the first citywide Hypertension Summit.
The two-day virtual event began on Thursday, October 21 with a special message from Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, who acknowledged the challenges and sacrifices that health care providers made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A theme throughout the summit was the need to address the way health inequity and structural racism impact the health of all Americans, especially in New York City, where more than 5.5 million residents identify as Black, Asian, or Hispanic. This theme was central to the Day 1 closing remarks by Dr. Carlos J. Rodriguez, a physician-leader at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who co-authored the AHA’s Presidential Advisory on Structural Racism, which outlined a future where the social determinants of health negatively impacting underrepresented communities and ethnic groups are eliminated.
Among the highlights of Day 2 was the Closing Session, which featured one of the national leaders for the American Heart Association, Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Chief Medical Officer for Prevention. Dr. Sanchez emphasized that blood pressure control is a “team sport” and thanked the many volunteers who participated in the NYC summit. He also discussed the lessons the Association learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they will guide it’s work for many years to come.
In the spirit of collaboration and gratitude, it is important to recognize the New York City Hypertension Summit Planning Committee and especially the leadership of Summit Chair, Dr. Lawrence Phillips of NYU Langone Medical Center. The 2021 NYC Hypertension Summit represented nine health systems from across the city and numerous nonprofit partners from across the country.
We want to thank our presenting sponsor Centers Health Care and our Advocate Level Sponsor Columbia University Irving Medical Center.